After a losing financial year, Nintendo wants to eliminate every excuse you have for not buying new content on its 3DS.
In response to the company's recent financial woes, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has announced that the 3DS eShop will be expanded in a firmware update later this year. The update, expected November 4th, will focus on downloadable content, allowing game demos, DLC, and the ability to perform downloads while in sleep mode.
Iwata's plans were laid out in the company's Semi-Annual Financial Results Briefing, a long explanation of what caused Nintendo's recent numbers and what it intends on doing to help reverse the trend. Also outlined in the report were plans for a second firmware update that will release sometime "in the future" after the one already planned for November. This future update will hypothetically allow the 3DS eShop's content to be viewable, and eventually, downloadable from smart phones and computers.
Nintendo believes that one of the problems with the 3DS is that it doesn't have "a great affinity with the social media, which are currently being used as a means to spread information.
"In other words," the report states, "even if a software title receives an incredible review, majority of people will not know about it unless they access the Nintendo eShop with their Nintendo 3DS system."
That's exactly why Iwata wants players to have more access to content. At first, players using other devices will only be able to view the eShop, but soon (for those of you counting, we're now talking about three updates out), Nintendo plans on giving them the ability to make purchases as well. Until that time, you'll need to photograph a QR code with your 3DS in order to access the purchase screen on your handheld.
This whole 3DS mess may be a thorn in Nintendo's side, but there's not much to complain about for the consumer. There's now been a price cut, a second thumbstick added, Netflix, the aforementioned DLC and demo update, and, of course, the stuff Nintendo was already planning on giving players in November anyway, namely 3D video recording and a new messaging service. I'll admit that I haven't been thrilled with Nintendo's hardware choices of late, but I have to applaud Iwata for the way he's handled its failings. Instead of sending out hordes of apology letters without changing, or simply pointing fingers and mud slinging, Nintendo has genuinely tried to make itself better for the player. Whether or not that's enough to put the company back on an upward swing is a different story.